I was born in a red brick house
with a Christmas tree
and silver spoon in my mouth...
My childhood is a blur. All I can really remember are the things that my mom has reminded me of since high school was over. My best friend was Alex D., who was the same age as me and dad went to college with mine, and therefore we were destined to be friends. He lived six houses down the street. We would turn on the hose in the back yard, and make things out of mud. We'd play with the balsa wood airplanes I'd beg my dad to buy me at the hardware store. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. What can I say? We were kids.
My brother, Paul, was born on April 29th, 1991. I don't remember ever being close with him, even though we shared a room until I was twelve. Even though we were siblings it felt like we lived in two different worlds, which is still true. I started to drift away from my family at a young age, though, and sometimes I blame myself for being so distant from him. We still don't really talk. Even Robby (who, at this time in the story, is still just another friend at my elementary school) hung out with Paul more than I did. Paul got a MySpace a few months ago and I didn't know what to do when he put me in his Top 8. I know that's a silly example, but that's really the best I've got, and that may say more than I meant it to.
I was teased a lot as a young kid. My only social saving grace was that I was the class clown and was also a pretty good drawer. Chuck Jones was my idol, and I drew every day - pictures of Looney Tunes, cartoons, even charicatures of my teachers and classmates. I even met Chuck Jones in fourth grade, and my mom still says that's one of her favorite memories of me growing up. If it weren't for my ability to draw, I think less people would have even considred talking to me. I remember my parents bought my clothes for me, and my parents, if you didn't know, have a pretty detatched sense of fashion, especially for young boys. Flamboyantly bright striped polo shirts, shorts that were too short, jeans that were too, back then, tight. I remember one time someone called me "gay" at school, and I went home and asked my mom what "gay" meant, and she said very straightly (no pun intended): "It means happy." So the next day, when I was called gay again, I said "Yep!! And I'm proud of it!"
There is one important memory I remember from that time - one that would seem so trivial, but one I always think about when I sit and "try to figure out where it all went wrong." I was at Alex D.'s house, and it was fourth grade. He told me that I needed to have my parents stop buying clothes for me, and that people thought I was.. well, gay. Or something. We were in his family room playing Sonic 3D Blast on Sega, I remember this distinctly. Before we left to walk back to my house he gave me a pair of his jeans to have, because they were cool, and I remember feeling guilty, somehow, but also trendy - daring, even - at the same time. As strange as it sounds, I look back on this as the first time the world of my parents stopped taking precedent, and the little moment that allowed the rest of my life to take the course it did.